Group of 100 Devotees of Koyasan and Kumano


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Kikuko Sakai


Kikuko Sakai was born in Wakayama City, in Wakayama Prefecture.
In 2008, she received the 88th All-Reading New Author Prize for Mushi no Idokoro.
In 2017, she received the 1st Kaoru Takada Prize and the 6th Historical Author Club New Author Prize for Hokahoka Fukigohan Izakaya Zenya.
Representative of her work are Naitara Akande Tsutenkaku, Hero Interview, Women’s Marathon, Haaree Jijii no Senaka, Wakadanna no Hizamakura, and the Izakaya Zenya series.
She writes about a wide range of subjects, from the contemporary to the historical and from sensual to emotional, without focusing on any single theme.

Looking for the seeds of a story

My parents’ house is right next to Wakayama Castle. I grew up listening to the castle’s bell in the morning and evening and gazing at the green of Mt. Torafusu, but in fact I don’t know much about Wakayama because I left for another prefecture when I graduated from high school. I focused on what lay ahead of me and ran forwards, without worrying about what lay behind.
However, after I turned 40, I sometimes felt a sudden thirst in my heart at my life on the flat, mountainless Kanto Plain. I’d like to lose myself in Koyasan and Kumano Sanzan, where my parents took me when I was little, in their deep green and in the mist that contains a strange presence. Maybe this is what it means to feel homesick.
I feel certain that the seeds of a story can be found there. What you could call the source of my spirit is scattered in fragments there. I’d like to carefully gather them up, water them, and grow them into a work of art.

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